Own Who You Are

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It is a terribly tragic thing; the way a person can become so familiar with abuse throughout a lifetime, that even long after the escape, they fall so quickly back into the darkness at their very own leaping, as if their heart had never been dancing in the light before. 

Yet, how beautiful it is to be lifted up everyday by people who know you better than you know yourself. People who see you fall and help you get back up. How wonderful it is, to have someone call you out on your own shit. To remind you of your worth with an inside joke, a smile, a kiss, a text, a rose 🌹. Whatever it is, these people are your tribe.

I guess some of us really do get that lucky. If you are that lucky, thank your tribe and help them back up too. 

If you find yourself back in the darkness and you have not found your luck yet, may I take a moment to call you out on your own shit, and remind you how hard you have fought every single day before this one. How your track record of bad days is actually pretty fucking stellar and the fact that you keep forgetting that is the only thing making today even more exhausting.

You aren’t perfect and you don’t need to be. Stop trying to look and act like the rest of the world. For in your imperfections, you are MORE than perfect. You are a work of art, and this life is your very own canvas. A limited edition, by yours truly.

While you may not be able to leave this museum you find yourself bounded to by life’s etching, you sure as hell can paint it any color that you’d like! You can even break down a wall every once in a while and let in a little bit of light. 

After all, you do own the place. 

Xoxo 

Kat

Are we there yet?

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When I was a married woman, my life seemed to fit into this perfectly wrapped box. It was a package deal. All inclusive. The corners of that box were dented and rough along the edges, but the contents never changed. I knew exactly what was expected of me, day after day. 

The list: Get married ✔️, Finish college ✔️, Establish a career ✔️, settle down somewhere ✔️, buy a house (negative), have kids (negative). 

That didn’t all work out exactly as described in the package I purchased. After all, I was just 19 and the whole package was only $50, limo included. “What did you expect..”they say. “It’s Vegas!” Biggest gamble and lesson of my life by far. However, I can honestly say I’ve  never been more grateful for such a disappointment.

No, the white picket fence dream was never mine. It was never meant for me, and that’s ok. I know that now. I’ve known that for a while.

Today, I have the best friends you could ask for, a beautiful, warm home to live in, a car that still runs efficiently after 10 years, 2 college degrees ( and the loans to prove it). I’m even blessed somehow with an amazing man who treats me like some form of an endangered species! ❤

 I have a great career, one that I’m proud of and one that I could actually retire from. Yes, it’s exhausting but that’s because I actually care about what I do. I’ve traveled some, I’ve grown some. In all calculated aspects, I am pretty damn happy! Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have fought like hell to get here. Everything I have, I have built for myself, from myself.

So why do I feel so lost here by myself? Where am I going? Am I there yet…?

That’s the funny thing about once you get everything you THOUGHT you ever wanted. You are all packed up in the car and you’re just sitting behind the steering wheel with absolutely no other destination. You didn’t actually plan to get this far!  You just thought having all of the parts would make the journey complete. 

” If I could just get this one job….” 

” If I can just ace this last class…”

” If I could just find a place that feels like home…”

” If I made just a little more money…”

” If I found the perfect guy..”

Now what? 

Where the hell am I going and will I even know when I finally get there? These are the questions I ponder. These are the things I don’t say out loud. These are my first world problems. Is everything perfect in my life? Not even close! But then again, that’s what makes it mine.

Truthfully, it’s not really about where you end up is it? It’s more about the journey itself. Who we meet, who we become, what we learn along the way, the way we DO better once we KNOW better.

 I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m enjoying the sound of things not meant for me lost in the wind. I’m pleased with my present company, and excited for wherever we end up. I’m actually happily incomplete. 

So the next time you think to yourself; ” If I could just lose weight…” ” If I could just have a baby..” ” If I could just do more… be more..”. Imagine you have it. You have all of it. Now what? 

None of it will make you anymore complete because most things we think that we need are only souvenirs, or small pieces to the big never ending map of life. Some pieces are huge! Friends, family, heartache, love, loss; everything else,we could live without and end up on the same journey, just a little less distracted by all the What Ifs…

Xoxo 

Remember when…

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Remember that one time…when you thought your whole life was over?


We’ve all been there at different chapters in our life. Maybe your heart was broken once, or maybe you actually did the breaking. Maybe you lost a business, a friendship or a dream. Maybe the object of what you actually lost was something in yourself you thought you’d never get back, no matter how hard you tried. You felt absolutely hopeless, alone and utterly defeated. Maybe you are in that chapter right now and it’s just the absolute fucking worst. The sweatpants, the messy hair, the emptiness, the interventions … wait, was that just my story? 


Nevermind the minor details of what it looks like. The point is that life is messy. All of it! The ups, the downs; all of it is one big, beautiful mess that will break your heart six ways to Sunday. (#silverliningsplaybook) 

If you are in that part right now, if this is your chapter and you are drowning deep under the weight of it all, take a deep breath. Place your hand over your heart. Breathe. You feel that? 

Turns out, you are still alive! Yes, you might have fell apart for a long minute, but you’ve got this.


I started this blog about 3 years ago, mainly because I had a LOT to say about a LOT of emotions I was having and I couldn’t find anything else to relate to.

 There were several blogs on how juice cleanses can save your colon and your life, post divorce struggles with dating (mainly for people who have kids), beauty advice, unrealistic nutrition blogs, save your shitty marriage articles, build the perfect version of yourself because you are the problem blogs, etc. There was no one out there saying :” Hey, I just fucked everything up. I’m completely alone. I have wasted my whole life and I do not have any idea how to start over.” Because we don’t say things like that out loud as a society. 

Well, welcome to the club and to a new year into my little portal of the world, Living Out Loud, because “Keepin it Real” was taken. 

Seriously, I don’t have any easy answers or a list of herbs you can buy to change your life, but my hope is to help you realize you have all of the answers already within yourself. 

Last year, instead of making a resolution I would break, I picked a word to reflect my goals for that year. That word was “Present”. To be actively present in life and each moment of it. Pretty sure I smashed that goal! 🙌🏻 As a result, my bucket list achievements were surprising even to myself. (See previous post from the fall for that update.)

This idea of choosing a word instead of a resolution came from another blogger who referenced the “One Word”project. See the link below for info. and help selecting YOUR own word. http://myoneword.org/pick-your-word/

This is a great place to start if you are at a crossroads in life or just need a focal point.

 My word for 2017 has taken some careful time to select. I feel that the word I have chosen is an extension of being present and it’s exactly what I need to focus on this year. To stop beating myself up about those few extra pounds, or not being able to be everything to everyone all of the time. Turns out, I am not Nutella. I am pretty damn amazing though, so my word for 2017 is “Confidence”. 

The confidence to know that I am enough and I have always been enough in everything. That’s quite the challenge for me given all of my past experiences. The confidence to say thank you when people say “You’re beautiful!”, instead of remembering everyone who made me feel less than. To accept my success, grace and kindness instead of hiding so often behind the sarcasm and self loathing that has become all too familiar. This is a pretty real struggle for me. 

Whatever your struggle is, my hope is that by focusing on my own confidence I can also inspire something beautiful in you. Whether it’s a half smile, a distraction from a bad day, or actually helping you find your own confidence, I’m ecstatic for the opportunity!

With that said, if no one has told you lately. You are enough and I am so glad you are here. 

Stay tuned …. 

xoxo 

Starving

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It’s 4am in my Seattle hotel room, overlooking downtown and Elliot Bay. 

The city is actually quite still. Minus 2 pedestrians on opposite blocks and one lonely car making it’s way through the rare absence of traffic. There are no longer flashing blue lights from the oversized plasma TV’s across from me or balconies full of people. Just the same dim and reassuring light in every other space. 

My black boots are slumped over in the corner, sad and silently mocking me. I sigh at the thought of wearing them around the city yesterday and almost falling twice. These used to be my favorite walking boots with just the right amount of heel. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them, but it seems they are terribly worn out from my last few trips and so am I. Everything eventually falls apart.

You never really know what kind of shape you are in until you get outside of the gym. Walking 4 or 5 blocks up and down hills causes a swift realization that yes, you did actually gain 25 lbs last year. That actually happened. Several tight corners that I remember sliding through the last time I was here, I could now feel my hips touching. “Excuse me, excuse my huge ass please.”

 The good news is that I lost 6 lbs this month so far. The bad news is that yesterday I had 3 steak tacos, BBQ pork chop on a stick, crab Rangoon, divinity cookies, an entire bottle of wine, one beer (not light beer) and a value size bag of munchies, minus the pretzels. I can’t tell you today I’ll do better, because I’ve got plans. Plans to eat. It is a mini-break after all. Go on, judge me. 

I actually did buy some ambrosia apples and cherries as well, I didn’t mention those bc that’s healthy! That’s also about $25 here at the Pike Place market. $25 on fruit?! Yes, because I live in Alaska where every piece of fruit tastes like cardboard soaked in a different flavor of Capri sun. So whenever I get the chance to actually pluck a cherry from it’s overpriced, organically grown stem or pierce the flesh of a crisp, ripe apple with my teeth, I relish that opportunity. It’s the little things in life. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Alaska. It’s where I lost myself 3 years ago, where I found myself too. It’s where my non-biological family lives, where my roots are stable and where I’ll grow old and die. Still complaining about the produce situation all the way to my grave. Yes, Alaska is my home and my sanctuary.

 Except in January when it’s dark and cold ALL of the time. In January, Alaska is the frozen tundra I need to escape from. Seattle is the perfect city for that escape. It’s just a 3 hour plane ride directly into the middle of a magazine, and lots of last minute deals make it cheap. I don’t have to be real here, anyone with a major credit card and bad habits are more than welcome. 

Escape is necessary. I needed to get away from my routine and all of my stuff or I felt like I was going to just lose it. 

Losing it is a familiar term for most adults. Losing it is when you don’t want to get out of bed, but you don’t want to deal with the consequences of not getting out of bed either. You are irritable, quick to snap, over caffeinated and sleep deprived. You can’t remember where anything is. Your entire life has become so busy trying to fix everyone else’s problem that your “self” is flat out starved. You’re starving to do/eat what you actually want to for just a day, starving to see the sunset instead of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Starving for sleep, for life, for water. Losing it.

The human body is over 50% water. If you take a glass of water half full and leave it in freezing cold temperatures for just a few hours, it becomes solid ice. If you do the same thing in temperatures too hot with high humidity, it slowly evaporates. 

It’s no wonder we are all starving for the same things when we are made up of the same parts.

Embrace your appetite.

Xoxo 

-Kat

Rainbows and Unicorns

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Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns…. so “they” say.

One of the major items on my bucket list this year was to find a rainbow eucalyptus tree. Also known as “Mindanao gum” trees, these beauties can be found in most tropical or subtropical areas, including the beautiful paradise where I was so lucky to find them, known as Maui, Hawaii. These trees grow over 200 ft tall and have all different shapes and styles.The colors change with the season just like leaves do in the fall or a girl’s mood from month to month. At first glance, it looks like they have been painted, but when you approach them closely, you can actually see the colors are revealed by the bark breaking off. The thinner the bark, the brighter the colors seem to be.

If you find yourself in Maui on the road to Hana, you can’t help but see these just after mile marker 7. Take my advice and don’t do this in your flip flops…. you’ll go through an entire container of baby wipes trying to get the mud off your feet. Satisfaction mud, bucket list mud, but still…. mud. (http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/nature-blows-my-mind-rainbow-covered-eucalyptus-deglupta-trees.html)

 

I didn’t find any unicorns, but that’s only because they are extinct. See for yourself:http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/news/a37608/unicorns-are-real-fossils/

If Good Housekeeping says it’s true, you bet your matching cermaic bowls it is. Turns out they weren’t the shiny, magical type of creatures we had imagined….Elasmotherium was an extinct genus of giant rhinoceros native to Asia during the Pliocene through Pleistocene eras. Colour printed illustration by Heinrich Harder from Tiere der Urwelt Animals of the Prehistoric World, 1916 Hamburg. Heinrich Harder (1858-1935) was a German landscape artist and book illustrator. These images come from a series of prehistoric creature cards published by the Reichardt Cocoa company in 1908. Natural historian Wilhelm Bolsche wrote the descriptive text.

Well, you can’t have everything.

I very much enjoyed my trip to Maui even without the unicorns. There was plenty of other magical things to see. Waterfalls, sunsets, beautiful fish under water and even the Garden of Eden.

Even if you aren’t chasing rainbows and unicorns, make the most of out the adventures life sends to you. There is beauty in every mile.

xoxo

❤ Kat

Everything You Need

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You know how we are always on this mission as a society to find out who we really are and who we are supposed to be? Some of us are obsessed with it. We read all the articles, scan all the blogs, complete all 24 days of the 30 day challenges. We fail. We set ourselves up to fail by trying to follow some unrealistic goal to become this perfect robot of an individual. Yet, in trying to be perfect, we actually set ourselves WAY back. Maybe we try to sleep even though we aren’t tired because the perfect person gets 7-8 consecutive hours of sleep each night. We don’t eat when we are hungry because we’ve already reached our daily calorie goal, or we don’t eat at all because we are frustrated and then eat everything in sight! It doesn’t just apply to how we treat our bodies today but also to relationships. ESPECIALLY to relationships! The drama, the forced interactions, the people you don’t even like who you for some reason feel obligated to make unnecessary conversation with. When in reality, they probably don’t want to have the conversation either.

When we were all kids, we probably ate when we were hungry. We napped when we were tired. If someone was impolite or we just simply didn’t like them, we did not have to put up with that person unless they were an adult. When we were little, if it didn’t make us happy or satisfy our needs, we didn’t want it. We had no use for it. Kids are so smart!

As adults, we spend most of our time trying to make others happy instead of ourselves. We spend time on ourselves only trying to fit into the perfect box instead of understanding we don’t belong in any box to begin with. It is an unfortunate pattern I see in myself and in others too often. A pattern of self doubt that infects our quality of life each day. We lay in bed and worry about tomorrow as if it is promised. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Am I enough? Imagine if we used that same energy to make ourselves happy, how that happiness would infect our life with entirely different results!

Turns out… you can learn a lot about yourself by just going for a nice long run…a 13 mile run actually.

kat.halfmarathon

When I first decided to register for this half marathon 6 months ago, I was doing what I always do. I was making  a list of things I have never done and never thought I could do for the year. I like to have goals for the year so I have a road map of where I’m going. The bucket list has been my sense of purpose for quite some time now. I love my list. I have also noticed I am a little co-dependent with the list. Over the last year, I have made the list more flexible. I have removed and added new things. I have allowed myself to edit. I have allowed for things not to get checked off. Honestly, I was really worried this race was going to be one of those things. How could I actually do this?

For those of you who know me or have been following my blog, you might know that when I first started running I could barely run 2 minutes without gasping for air. I still struggle with a steady pace but I enjoy the struggle when it’s over. So I keep doing it.  I trained, I ran my ass off and I am damn proud to have completed this particular race in 2 hours and 38 minutes. That so far is my best. That is not perfect. That is not above average. That is not below average. That is just my best and that is totally enough for me. I now have the satisfaction of checking this off my list and the desire to do it all over again! Crazy, right?!

My first thought when I finished this race was “I didn’t know I could do that”. I didn’t know I could run 13 miles. I didn’t know I could out run the guy behind me. I didn’t know how amazing it would feel to finish it! The feeling of accomplishment among other runners matched with the mutual sense of community and support you feel around each other is the best part of any race. Nothing is forced out there. We are all just trying to do our best. We are all tired at the end. We all wanted to give up at some point but we didn’t. We didn’t give up. For some of us, completing our run every day may just be the one thing we feel like we have control over in our life.

No, I didn’t know I could actually run a half marathon in under my 3 hour goal. I also didn’t know I could graduate college with honors. I didn’t know when I was 16 that I would learn to drive and travel all over the United States. I didn’t know I could survive immeasurable loss and heartache. I didn’t know I could go back one day and stare it in the face. I didn’t know I could grow into what people tell me is an amazing writer. I didn’t know any of it. Sometimes what you don’t know about yourself is everything you need to start the incredible journey of discovery. That’s what life is. It is a journey. There will be set backs. There will be unexpected detours, road blocks and sometimes it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep going. When you reach your destination it will most likely be more than you expected. It will be better. You will be better too for having reached it.

I’m so thankful for what I have learned that I didn’t know before. I’m so proud of the life I have built and the things I have gone through that made the path to get me here. No, I didn’t know any of it was possible. I didn’t have a master plan. I still don’t! I am just winging it. List in hand, all sights forward and living out loud. I hope I see you out there.

xoxo

Keep Going. Everything You Need Will Come To You At The Perfect Time:

Kat On a Hot Tin Roof

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What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof,  I wish I knew.... just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.:

 

Fear.

It is the ultimate barrier between you and everything you have ever wanted. It is the top enabler of invisible limitations and my own personal favorite… procrastination! It fuels doubt and insecurity like a well oiled machine. Fear finds its way into your mind and your heart even when you sleep. It is relentless. That son of a bitch!

My first race of the summer is this Friday. Twilight 12k which is in celebration of the upcoming summer solstice. For those of you who may experience normal sunrise and sunset in the summer time, solstice for Alaska means … YAY FOR MIDNIGHT SUNSETS!!

Evening Glow Sunset - Alaska P.s. simple quest for everyone) Why did Bill die?:

A 12k is about 7.5 miles. The race is at 7:00pm in downtown Anchorage. That all sounded doable about a month ago.

That was a bad idea. I am in NO way ready to run 7.5 friggin miles…. I needed to boost my workouts last week and get some good 5 mile runs in at the very least to feel even close to ready! That was my plan to conquer this weeks goal. That WAS my plan!

So, of course, right on cue…(whenever I have an upcoming goal) I took ill. Yep, so sick to my stomach I slept for 2 days and couldn’t eat anything for the first day at all. No significant illness could be detected. I had no fever or anything like that, I just felt like I had been hit by a truck and then it came back for me a few times… just to make sure I knew where my place was. That place was in the dark and buried under covers on the 2 prettiest days we’ve had so far. I missed a week worth of runs. That’s 20 miles or more.

I do recall being fairly anxious the week before, dizzy when running, forgetting to eat the right things..” Oh wow… did I just have bacon and wine for dinner again? Dammit!”

Even though that fits right into my calorie goal if I do it right, that is not exactly a runners diet. Bacon is awesome! Don’t get me wrong here, I’m fairly confident that bacon with wine is the answer to all the problems in the world. However, I do know better. Eggs, tuna, quinoa, kale, lean protein, whole grain bread and fruit. That’s what I’m supposed to stick to, and most days I have! Except for well…  Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and most Friday nights!

My point is, I am not where I should be for this race. I am not where I wanted to be physically. I didn’t change enough of my habits to get there and in a way I probably made myself sick cutting out the right foods so I could fit in the wrong ones. This did not help me get ready. This did not properly fuel my workouts. My choices were not the best. Getting sick is not the only excuse I have. I have millions of excuses. Good ones too! I won’t list them here. No, I’m not cancelling the run even though if we are being perfectly honest… I want to. I want to throw myself down a flight of stairs instead of climbing set after set to build up my glutes!

Why? Because I am scared. I have never done this before!The most I have ever run in a race is a 5k. Those are simple and over fast, like a good one night stand! In and out, nothing to gain and nothing to lose. These runs are different. These runs require commitment to the distance. A few extra miles have never seemed so long to me. I am scared. I am scared I will fail, I am scared I will be last, and mostly I am scared about what that means for all the other goals I have set for myself. Am I aiming too high? Do I ask too much of myself? Should I set limits? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.

I do know I am running this race Friday the best that I can. I do know I will likely be slower than most people there. I know the weekend after that I’m running 5 miles for breast cancer fundraising. The week after that it’s 13 miles for the Mayor’s Annual Marathon. 13 miles is only half. The fear continues, but so do I.

That’s the important part I guess. Trust me, when I’m at the gym running in front of other people or on a trail, I do not feel like a gazelle when I am doing it. I feel like an obese cabbage patch doll who just ate nachos. (Damn I love nachos..) I DO want to give up, I DO want to stop. The only problem with that is I want to succeed more. I want to finish more than I want to give up.

So think of me this Friday night when you are out with friends or relaxing at home, think of me as I move at turtle pace mile after mile. My thighs are already killing me from the stairs I climbed today and my ass feels like a brick HOUSE. Even so, I’ll be there. No matter how slow I go, I’ll be faster than the couch.

A little more confidence, a little less fear. Day by day. Race by race. I got this… 

xoxo

46 Quotes From Reddit That Will Change Your Life For the Better: Words can move you, make you happier, and motivate you.